Atlantic Coast Beaches (France) – Part 1

By | July 29, 2013

The beaches, Montalivet, La Jenny and Euronat are very similar which is not surprising considering they area on the same stretch of coast line.

This part of the coast has a large dune system behind the beach which is a protected nature area. There are signs about explaining the fragile eco systems, plants and the dunes in general. (Well that was my take on the signs with my limited French, the pictures and diagrams give it away). Not far away in the Arcachon Bay area is the Great Dune of Pilat, the largest sand dune in Europe, and that’s a bit of a tourist attraction, to give you some idea of the importance of the dunes.

One of the first things you realise walking on these beaches is that the sand is golden and just like the stuff on the East Coast of Australia, so much so, I could tell you a porky that they imported the sand from Australia and you could believe me. It’s not the grey dusty stuff you find on the Mediterranean, or the pebbles you find on other beaches, but real golden sand. However, there are some large stones and rocks littered on the beach which you will end up kicking as they are just beneath the surface or too numerous to miss. Apart from that little detraction these really are picture postcard beaches, and they go on forever.

The next thing is that these are truly surf beaches and the surf crashes into the shore line, so you are constantly reminded of that by the comforting sound of the surf, added with the smell of the ocean from the spray, the heat and the fragrance of sun cream, it all adds up to a great summer’s beach day.

Each of the beaches have showers on the top of the dune area which is a bit of walk but very accessible never the less. Euronat and Montalivet have small shops selling light snacks, drinks and ice-creams. La Jenny did have an ice-cream cart (like the ones at Cap D’Agde) that moved around the beach. Although he wasn’t anywhere near as busy as the ones at Cap D’Agde, which are static, its interesting to watch this fellow pull the cart across the beach.

Euronat and La Jenny have helipads located behind the beaches, near the shower area, fortunately they don’t seem to be used all that often, and they do make a great place for phone reception as this can be a bit dodgy on the beach.

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